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Chief, Sustainable Urban Development Section, P5

UN ESCAP - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Bangkok, Thailand

Org. Setting and Reporting

The mandate of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is to promote inclusive economic, social and environmental development and support regional cooperation and integration in the Asian and Pacific region. ESCAP’s role as a regional development arm of the United Nations Secretariat is to support its membership, through its analytical, normative and technical cooperation, to respond to the development priorities and changing needs of the Asian and Pacific region.

The main mission of the Environment and Development Division of ESCAP is to integrate environmental sustainability in economic and social development and enhance regional cooperation on environment, natural resources management, 2030 sustainable development agenda, as well as urban development, including the application of environmentally sustainable economic growth approach, as well as other effective policy initiatives, for inclusive and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.

This position is located in the Sustainable Urban Development Section, Environment and Development Division. The incumbent reports to the Director of the Division.

Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the Chief, Sustainable Urban Development Section will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Provides policy guidance to the Chief of Division, on conceptual strategy development and management of the implementation of the Division’s programme of work, overall ESCAP strategies and intra and inter-divisional/departmental policies and procedures;
  • Leads in the identification of new and emerging development issues in resource efficient, inclusive resilient and sustainable urban development of potential concern to Member States of ESCAP and designs and develops programmes to address them within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (2030 Agenda), the New Urban Agenda (Habitat III) and other global agendas related to environment and/or sustainable development (e.g. Paris Agreement on Climate Change);
  • Plans and oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Section; ensures that substantive work programmes and programmed activities are carried out timely, coordinating diverse projects in the Section, and, in liaison with other organizations of the United Nations System, donors and agencies as appropriate;
  • Manages, supervises and carries out the work programme of the Section under his/her responsibility. Co-ordinates the work carried out by the Section; provides programmatic and substantive reviews of drafts prepared by others;
  • Provides substantive input in the preparation of position papers and reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the Committee on Environment and Development, the Commission session and other policy-making organs, as appropriate;
  • Contributes to the reporting to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/substantive issues, as appropriate;
  • Supports the organization of expert group meetings, intergovernmental conferences, forums and other ESCAP organized events;
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the Section maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the Section under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates;
  • Prepares inputs for the work programme of the Division, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery;
  • Carries out programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section, including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance (PAS), interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates;
  • Recruits staff for Section taking due account of geographical and gender balance and other institutional values;
  • Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision;
  • Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Section and across organizational boundaries;
  • Represents the Organization at inter-agency meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive-related issues;
  • Participates in international, regional or national meetings and provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue, or hold programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions.

Competencies

  • Professionalism: Deep understanding of the concept of sustainable development and the global processes that are related to sustainable development as well as knowledge of environment and development issues and policies in Asia and the Pacific is required. Knowledge of sustainable management of natural resources at the urban level and environmental challenges associated with rapid urbanization, urban poverty, industrialization, mass-consumption lifestyles and climate change, as well, as approaches to make urban development and governance more inclusive and equitable desirable. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
  • Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings;
  • Planning& Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Managerial Competencies

  • Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands;
  • Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in environment or resource management, engineering, urban studies or economics. A relevant or related first-level university degree in the above fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience with both technical and managerial responsibilities, including in planning, programming, development and management of the urban sector. Experience within the UN system is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Assessment

Qualified applicants may be evaluated through a competency-based interview and/or other assessment methods.

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